Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Color Me - Thistle, Powder Blue, and Violet

I still have several color palettes that I planned out before I cut back on my blog schedule, so I'll be dropping in one of those every once in a while, just so things won't be quite so quiet here! 

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Image sources: Heart Handmade UK | Creature Comforts | Creative Geisslein

Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Life 2011 - July 31 - August 6, 2011

Spring has finally decided to make an appearance here in Huntsville! This week I've been able to experience the joys of running outdoors without freezing my tail off, driving without the need for heated seats (though I'm still eternally grateful to Darren for that particular Christmas gift last year), and gardening. The Botanical Garden is having their annual Spring plant sale this weekend, and we went today and came home with a few choice bits of greenery to add to the gardens here at the house.

There's lots of green in the Project Life layout I'm posting today, too, including photos from a trip to the Gardens and flowers blooming in my front yard nearly two years ago. Some things will never change, thank goodness!

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Supplies:


This layout was actually up on the Simple Stories blog a couple of weeks ago, and I turned the camera on and filmed while I was scrapping so I could put together a video of the process.


I simply adore Simple Stories' "A Charmed Life" collection, and as a St. Patrick's Day birthday girl it felt a little wrong to use it for something besides birthday photos the first time I cut into it. The greens, blues, and yellows were just perfect for these photos, though, and I'm sure I'll be using it again on St. Patrick's Day pictures before too long.

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In a small and not-entirely-unrelated-to-my-recent-blog-silence bit of news, Darren (otherwise known as my husband and also as "he who installed the awesome heated seats that I mentioned above") has officially been accepted to medical school starting this fall! I'm thrilled for him since he's wanted this for a long, long time, but it's also brought on more than a few "so much to do and so little time" thoughts since the acceptance letter arrived. We have so many things we want to finish around the house, and basically only one summer left to do them all before he starts four years of school followed by four years of residency. The next three months are now or never time for getting those things done ourselves, and we'll definitely be staying busy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workspace Wednesday - Manual Die Cutting Within Reach

I still have a few of the regular posts that I wrote before I took a permanent break from my daily blogging schedule, and from time to time I'll drop one of them here. That's not to say that I'll never participate in something like Workspace Wednesday again, but it definitely won't be a weekly thing!

When something isn't getting used in my craft space, it usually means that it's not being stored where I can easily get to it and then just as easily put it away. Take my Sizzix Big Kick, for example. I love using it (especially with alphabet dies!), and I have a healthy collection of dies thanks to a year and a half spent on the Lawn Fawn design team and more than a slight addiction to Papertrey. Unfortunately, a manual die cutter does have a fairly big footprint, so it's not something I'm willing to just leave sitting out on my scrapping surface all the time. Instead, it and my Xyron were shoved onto out-of-the-way, inconvenient shelves, meaning they didn't come out to play very often.

Until now, that is!

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When we built my new craft table last fall, I knew that die cutting tools were one of the things I wanted to have right within reach. This little space at the end of one of my craft table's shelves (you can see a full shot of the shelves here) is just perfect for housing both my Big Kick and my Xyron 900, which I often use to add adhesive to the backs papers before cutting them with alphabet dies. Unfortunately, the Xyron had been stored in an even more inconvenient place than the Big Kick, and I once actually lost it in my scrap room. I mean, who loses a huge Xyron 900?!? My scrap room is not that big!

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Both machines are now right under the top of my craft table, so I can just pull them out when I need to use them and then put them right back. My dies are on a shelf right beside my Big Kick, and you can read more about how I store my thin metal dies here.

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There are certain types of material such as felt and glitter paper that I normally only use when die cutting, so I've gathered all of those together to make them easy to find, too! That was actually a project that I tackled last October, and now, nearly 6 months later, the contents those three IKEA Alex drawers are staying organized and getting used, so I think I have a winner here! You can read more about how I organize these drawers here, but if you just want pretty photos, I took a new round to share. :)

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My Silhouette sits on top of the Alex cart, and I'm actually reworking the large furniture pieces in this area right now, thanks to my new desk that I picked up on my last trip to IKEA. That should put my Silhouette in a spot where it's super easy to use, and I'll share that down the road as I have time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Glitter, Stripes, and a Star Wars del Sol

Yes, I am indeed still alive, but, dude, what a week or so it's been since I last posted! After having an awesome birthday last Monday, I came home from work on Tuesday night with some flu-ish sort of virus. I say "ish" because it turned out to not be the actual flu, but it certainly felt like it for about a day! That little incident was directly followed by a sinus infection that took a while to diagnose since I thought it was simply the remnants of the flu-like mystery bug. I'm happily medicated now, though, and even happier to pop in today to share a couple of projects that I made for Crate Paper last week!

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Last week's theme on the Crate blog was "Glitter and Stripes," and I went in two very different directions with it. First, I combined both the glitter and the stripes to make a pair of cards. I had just ordered Papertrey Ink's Center Stage cover plate die and was of course itching to use it. It cut through a piece of American Craft's Pow! glitter paper like butter, and I used the full cutout on the card above and a few of the individual chevrons on the card below.

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Supplies:


The rest of the supplies are all from the Styleboard collection by Maggie Holmes, including the little sentiments that came from one of the cut-apart sheets in the paper pack. I thought that they'd both work well for birthday cards, but I suspect that poor Darren isn't going to quite know what to do with them next time he raids the card box (which happens often). Perhaps I should go back and stamp a birthday greeting inside each card just to help him out a little bit. :)

My next project is definitely more geeky than girly and uses the Boy's Rule line.

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Supplies:


This Star Wars themed Honda del Sol was one of the first things I spotted upon arriving at Star Wars Celebration VI, and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be a good convention! Okay, so, yes, I knew that beforehand, but the car really sealed the deal! You see, I drive a del Sol and have for almost 12 years. Mine is actually a '93 model, has over 315,000 miles on it, and hardly ever gives me any trouble, meaning I'm in no hurry at all to replace it. I love it so much that I bought my cousin's del Sol (I actually scrapped a layout about she and I being "car twins" a couple of years ago) when she sold it, so now I have two of them! I suppose I could have a newer car if I wanted, but I've had the chance to drive a few dozen different models as rentals during all of my work travels, and there's just nothing that fits me like this one! It's a good thing that Darren, who is somewhat confused by birthday cards that omit the word "birthday" is MacGyver when it comes to fixing cars and...well...anything!

I turned on the camera while I was making this layout, so you can see how it came together if you like.


I'd actually intended to use the striped paper that you see at the very beginning of the video as a border around the whole page, but as soon as I pulled out that striped transparency from the photo overlay pack I changed course and used it for my "stripes" instead. After that, the entire layout literally fell into place, and I was very grateful for that since I'd literally spent 30 minutes off camera before filming trying to come up with a photo arrangement I liked! In the end I didn't use anything that I came up with during that session and even ended up changing page sizes. And, wow, I'm always so amazed at how fast an 8.5x11 canvas fills up!

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I've got another couple of videos filmed and either uploaded or in the editing queue, so I'll be sharing those soon! The lighter blogging schedule means that I have a little more time for things like that now, though I don't intend to let it be another week before posting again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March Kit Layouts for Citrus Twist

I'm settling into a new blogging non-routine over here nicely, and while I don't intend to make it the norm to go for long stretches between posts, I've been putting the extra time to good use in my craft room! I've got paint drying on a layout as I type, and I'm about to go all kung-fu with a craft knife once this is posted and start in on an altered book for the April Citrus Twist gallery.

Speaking of Citrus Twist, I still have my March kit layouts to share! The new kits went live in the shop last week, and in the spirit of being a kinder, gentler blogging task-master to myself, I'm going back to sharing all of the layouts in one post again. :)

I didn't realize until after I'd finished my first layout (using just the main kit) just how many photos I have of my niece, Sophie, reading with someone in our family! There's this page I scrapped of her and Darren, one from January of her getting in a little story time with her Poppy, and in today's layout she's reading gardening magazine with my Mom- her Noni. I'm pretty sure that there's a photo of me reading a My Little Pony book to her floating around my Lightroom library, too, so I may have to scrap that one soon to add to the collection. And, total aside, but My Little Pony has changed a lot since I played with them as a kid!

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My next layout was for one of the sketch challenges over at Citrus Twist, and I got all inky and glitter splatter-y with this one! Glitter splatters are really easy to make- just water down some plain white glue, load it up on a paintbrush, and splatter it across the page just like mist, except you cover it in glitter afterward.

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I filmed a music-only (no voiceover) video of this layout since it's actually pretty easy for me to flip on the video camera that always stands over my work table. It still takes a bit of time to edit, but it really is so much faster than doing voiceovers, so hopefully you enjoy it! For those who subscribe to my blog via email, you can watch the video here on YouTube.


I must have been wishing for spring while working with these kits. Actually, I still am- it's cold here today! This layout mixes together pretty much all of the kits, and I started with a loose grid-style arrangement for my photos and then did my usual thing filling in the gals between them with papers, stickers, and other embellishments. It's pretty much my favorite way to make a page!

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My last layout with the April kits is a Project Life page from my 2011 album, which is I think only 6-7 weeks away from being completed now! Since I've stepped back from blogging a bitI now have more time for photo editing, and I'm working on getting the rest of my photos caught up and printed. It helps that I've finally made friends with VSCO keys for Lightroom. There's definitely a learning curve, but I can edit so much more quickly now!

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And today? It's my birthday! We've done the usual stuff- getting the birthday Starbucks treat and sushi for lunch- along with a few new things like picking up more oxalis (shamrocks) for the gardens and a new batch of succulents for my desk. I'll write up the full account of our adventures over on my personal blog once the day is over and I've processed the photos. I've already printed a few to scrap as I lift one of Wilna Furstenburg's layouts, including the one of some of my new plants below!

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